I remember those horrific post-field trip stops at McDonalds... That's how my ketchup collection started. Have I ever told you about my ketchup collection? No? I used to have a ketchup collection. It started on the way home from my sixth-grade trip to Wyalusing State Park. We stopped at McDonalds where they'd prepared a lunch of one (1) double cheeseburger, one (1) large order of French fries, and one (1) medium Coke for each student.
My friend Chad and I collected our lunches and found a place to sit. Chad reached into his bag, emptied out its contents, and rifled through them. His face fell. He muttered the word "crap," stood up, and went up to the counter. The rest of us at the table looked at each other, shrugged, and commenced eating.
A moment later, a woman in a McDonalds uniform and holding a paper bag came to our table.
"You boys need ketchup?"
"Sure," I said. She reached into the bag, pulled out a handful of ketchup packets, tossed them at me, and moved on to the next table just as Chad was returning.
"Brethren!" he called excitedly (this was back in the early '90s when people said "brethren" instead of "dude"), "I got enough ketchup for everybody!"
Sheepishly, I thrust my unopened ketchup packets into the pocket of my coat, where I discovered them a couple of weeks later. I put them into a drawer in my desk and forgot about them until my sister pointed them out months later.
"Oh," I said, "that's my ketchup collection."
For at least two years, she diligently brought new additions to the collection, and I'd absent-mindedly toss them into the drawer. Then one day I was organizing my desk and discovered that they'd been leaking. For some time. It wasn't pleasant.
The moral to the story (since I guess there should be one) is that if you’re going to collect ketchup, collect the bottles, not the single-serving packets. No, better yet, the moral is that if you're going to collect something, you should stick to the conventional collectibles, like stamps or dead bugs or t-shirts bearing the likeness of Alfred E. Neuman. Stay away from ketchup.